My Take

Politicians setting up Hong Kong for a train wreck

Those of us caught in the middle can only watch helplessly as the pan-democrats and their allies play a game of chicken with Beijing

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 April, 2016, 1:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 April, 2016, 1:00am

Poor Leung Chun-ying. The chief executive is not only the bogeyman for pan-democrats and radical localists but some Beijing loyalists as well.

The prospect of Leung getting a second term was first cited by Liberal Party heavyweight James Tien Pei-chun to scare people into supporting the government’s failed plan for universal suffrage last year.

Now, Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, former Legislative Council president and member of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, has raised the prospect again.

She said further chaos in the streets and Legco would set the stage for Leung to keep his job for another five years.

“I won’t shy away from saying this: the so-called democrats are turning Hong Kong into such a mess,” she said. “[They] would only increase the chance of the incumbent chief executive’s re-election.”

She is probably right about Leung. If you think the last few years were bad, I can’t imagine what another five years under Leung would be like.

But will someone else fare better under the current election system in which 1,200 people handpick a winner from candidates pre-approved by Beijing?

Chaos points to five more years of CY, says Rita Fan

Any future chief executive chosen under the current, unreformed system will suffer the same problems that Leung faces now.

He or she will not be regarded as legitimate by pan-democrats, localists and large swathes of the local electorate. He or she will always be open to charges of being Beijing’s stooge, of selling out Hong Kong and betraying our interests.

Any ambitious policies launched by the future chief executive beyond welfare and livelihood issues will be opposed, lest they succeed and he or she gains credibility with the public.

The pan-democrats long ago decided on a scorched-earth policy. With some exceptions, many are more than willing to see Hong Kong become ungovernable, and to undermine the “one country two systems” principle to force Beijing to concede to their version of full democracy. My fear is that Beijing will show the same willingness to play chicken with the pan-democrats and their allies, to overturn the city’s governance and our hitherto consensus on “one country two systems” to pursue a hard line against its enemies.

Those of us caught in the middle can only watch helplessly for the inevitable train wreck.